January 1, 2008

Asbury Coffey

Update 2-29-2012:  I have been unable to determine who the Asbury (var.) Coffey was who married Malinda Rash or Sarah Winkler.  I believe these families were mostly Burke Co. natives and perhaps not related to the James Asbury Coffey who married Chany Gragg.  As a result, I have removed the Coffey-Rash-Winkler family from the Edward Coffey Project until I can accurately determine who they are.


James Asbury died in ca April, 1866 leaving a widow, Chaney [sic] and four minor children; e.g., Leroy (Levy?), Mary, Martha and Henry, "...infants and heirs at law of the said Jas. L. [sic] Coffee [sic].

In an action brought before the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions in the April 1866 session, Chaney declared that her husband died intestate in Caldwell Co., "seized & possessed of one tract of land lying in our said county whereon he formerly lived on the waters of Johns River adjoining the land of Daniel Moore & others..."  She claimed that she was entitled to the land by dower.  She also asked that a guardian ad litem be appointed to represent the interest of the children.

In Sept. of 1866 she was allotted what appears to me to be the entire household, including farming equipment, crops and animals.  I haven't found a document specifically granting her the real estate.










I believe the Asbury Coffey in the census records below might be James Asbury son of Thomas Coffey, Jr and Nancy Pendley. If I am correct, then he and the Marvel Coffey living next door to Nancy and Asbury in 1850 are first cousins.

The James Asbury that I have as Marvel's cousin was married in 1858* to Chainey Gragg1, the daughter of Enoch and Rebecca Estes Gragg, in the Globe Twp., Caldwell Co. They had at least four children: William, born Jan., 1859; Mary Louise, born Nov., 1859; Henry Kelly (Caleb), born Aug., 1861; and Martha R., born Aug., 1861. If, as the two census records indicate, he was born in 1830 then it is likely that he was married at least once before Chainey.


The kicker in all of this is that a James Asbury Coffey enlisted in Co. F., 26th NC Troops in Caldwell Co. on Mar. 20, 1862 and, died c1866.2


Chainey's death record** gives her name as Mrs. Chaney Davis and her parents as Enoch and Beckey Estes. She married Alexander Davis on Sep. 13, 1865*** indicating that she and Asbury apparently divorced sometime prior to that, giving him the opportunity to marry again and father the children listed in the 1880 census.

Please contact me at the above e-mail address if you can positively identify him or, can provide additional information that might place him him in the correct family.

Jun 3, 1880
ED208, Page 4
Mulberry, Wilkes Co., NC
dwelling 43/family 46

Coffey, Asberry, white male, age 50, married, farmer, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Sarah, white female, age 38, wife, married, keeping house, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, William, white male, age 17, son, single, works on farm, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Mary, white female, age 13, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Martha C., white female, age 11, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Racheal L. [?], white female, age 5, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC
Coffey, Laura E., white female, age 3, dau, single, born NC, parents born NC


Sep. 4, 1850
Kings Creek District
Caldwell Co., NC
dwelling 606/family 607

Marvel Coffey, age 30, male, white, farmer, $600, born NC
Nancy Coffey, age 30, female, white, born NC
Granville, age 5, male, born NC
Laura, age 2, female, born NC
Mary, age 11 mos., born NC
James Coffey, age 78, male, born VA

dwelling 607/family 608

Nancy Coffey, age 50, female, born NC
Asbury Coffey, age 19, male, born NC




1 Chaney is said to have had a child in 1857 out of wedlock, fathered by Elisha Gragg
2 26th Regiment North Carolina Troops, 26th NCT [http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/soldiers.cfm]
* Caldwell Co. Marriage Records, Book 1, Page 249
** Caldwell Co. Death Records, Book 10, Page 17
***North Carolina Marriages, 1741-2004

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